Messenger Apps

Technology • Internet & Web
Telegram and Signal have unprecedented growth after a controversial change in WhatsApp's privacy terms
Telegram and Signal have unprecedented growth after a controversial change in WhatsApp's privacy terms
Credit: Signal Foundation

Messaging applications Telegram and Signal see impressive user growth in the wake of confusion over updated terms of service notification from Facebook-owned encrypted messaging service WhatsApp.

Telegram said on Wednesday it had surpassed 500 million active users globally, while Signal took the number 1 spot on both Google Play Store and Apple App Store's top free apps lists this week.

Brian Acton, who co-founded WhatsApp before selling it to Facebook and then co-founding the Signal Foundation, told Reuters that "We’ve seen unprecedented growth this past week." He also said Signal was working to improve its video and group chat functions, allowing it to compete better with WhatsApp, Microsoft Teams, and other conferencing apps that have become vital to day-to-day life over the past year. Privacy advocates have jumped on the WhatsApp changes, pointing to what they say is Facebook's poor track record of supporting consumers' interests when handling their data, with many suggesting users migrate to other platforms.

Technology • Internet & Web
Telegram announces video calls on Android and iOS
Telegram announces video calls on Android and iOS
Credit: Telegram

Telegram announced support for one-on-one video calls for its Android and iOS apps. The developer promised support for group video calls in the coming months.

In a blog post, the company said: "All video calls are protected with end-to-end encryption. To confirm your connection, compare the four emoji shown on-screen for you and your chat partner – if they match, your call is 100% secured by time-tested encryption also used in Telegram's Secret Chats and Voice Calls. You can find more details on this page."

Regional News • Asia
Messenger app Telegram will temporarily suspend fulfilling data requests from Hong Kong courts
Messenger app Telegram will temporarily suspend fulfilling data requests from Hong Kong courts
Credit: unsplash.com / Christian Wiediger

According to Hong Kong Free Press the messenger app Telegram has decided to temporarily not fulfill data requests of its users made by Hong Kong courts. The head of marketing for telegram, Mike Ravdonikas, has stated that "Telegram does not intend to process any data requests related to its Hong Kong users until an international consensus is reached in relation to the ongoing political changes in the city". The decision follows the enactment of the new national security law in Hong Kong.

Technology • Internet & Web
Messenger app Telegram announces that it will develop anti-censorship tools for Iran and China
Messenger app Telegram announces that it will develop anti-censorship tools for Iran and China
Credit: unsplash.com / Christian Wiediger

The co-founder of Telegram, Pavel Durov, has announced that the company will direct "anti-censorship resources into other places where Telegram is still banned by governments — places like Iran and China". In the past Telegram has already developed and provided users with tools to circumvent the Telegram ban in Russia.